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Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m May/December Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Down and Dirty Audiobook (Cole McGinnis #5) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

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Blurb

From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

Review

My full review of the story can be found here:

http://kimichanexperience.com/dirty-audiobook-cole-mcginnis-5-rhys-ford-narrated-greg-tremblay/

(Abridged)

I absolutely loved digging deep into Bobby’s psyche. He’s a unique character, with years of experience that Jae and Cole don’t have. His history (being a closeted gay cop) must mirror what so many men of his generation experienced and it serves as a reminder for how far we (as a culture) have come along (hopefully) in our acceptance of “other” in our society. There was even a story thrown in as told by an older man who had similar experiences with his mixed marriage, that is, he was subjected to questions and cruelty as well.

Without reading this book, you may be worried that Bobby couldn’t possibly be seen as someone to trust in a long-term relationship. What Ford did was show us, by slowly peeling back the layers, just why Bobby is EXACTLY the type of guy you should trust in a long-term relationship. It was very elegantly done and felt completely organic.

Ichi’s history surprised me a bit too. There are things we find out that explain some of his personality; information about his mother (Cole’s too) and father and step-mother… fascinating. He’s an old soul and perfectly matched for Bobby.

The ending was absolutely THE BEST. First, the way Jamie finds out Bobby is gay and then, the last scene at the tattoo shop… (le sigh) grab some tissues, it’s just wonderful. It feels so complete, but is just open enough that it hints at more excitement that we could see in upcoming book(s). I hope that both Bobby and Ichi (and maybe even Jamie?) will continue to play big roles in any future book(s).

Well done Rhys Ford, well done!

Audio

Listening to Greg Tremblay narrate is like inviting the characters from Rhys’ books to dinner. They are there with you in the room, telling their story. He clearly does research on each character and in turn becomes them for the duration of the recording.

Knowing that he is carrying on a conversation between Bobby and Ichi then switching to Jae, Scarlet and Bobby without the aid of digitally stopping and starting to get into “character” blows my mind. It’s flawless. He is somehow able to become each of these very unique people in a breath and thus the listener gets the amazing experience of having all four men (or women as the case may be) tell us their own story.
I was thinking that as a writer Greg must be a tremendous asset. To literally have your character able to talk back to you! What that must feel like?! (Mind blown…)

Again, he’s done tremendously wonderful work here and I think one part that stands out for me is the part with Jamie, Bobby’s son. The emotions are so thick first between Ichi and Bobby then we switch gears from passion to anger and pain with Bobby and Jamie. Just amazing. Or when Bobby and Cole have their big confrontation – God it’s so emotional and tear jerking!

I absolutely loved this audiobook and highly recommend it along with the entire series.

6 of 5 stars!

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Interview with Greg Tremblay

Greg Tremblay

 

 

 

Karrie Jax Fan Art

Interview

I was fortunate enough to meet Greg Tremblay at this year’s GRL in San Diego.  He’s an amazingly sweet and talented man.  While I was talking with him he gave me a glimpse of just how skilled he is as a voice actor by slipping easily in and out of a variety of voices.  It’s eery – like talking to Jae and Ichi having them in the same room.  Their voices are so unique and their speech patterns such that you’d think it would take him a bit to “get in character” but he just slips in and out like changing coats!  I was floored!  Anyhow, he was also talking a little about his process and his relationship with Rhys Ford and her “Dirty” series – The Cole McGinnis Mystery Series.  I asked if he’d be willing to answer a few questions for me and from that discussion I give you this nearly 45 minute phone interview we shared. (Please ignore the obvious nerves and fan-girling you might catch on my side of the conversation – Greg was amazing!)

I want to express my most sincere gratitude to Greg for his time and talent and also give a nod to Rhys Ford for her body of work and her amazing talent and for Dreamspinner for their blending of their respective geniuses.  Thank you!

I can’t wait for the last Cole McGinnis book and it’s audio companion!

Click here to listen.

 

 

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Fan Art for Found at the Library by Christi Snow

Found at the Library by Christi Snow

Book reviewed here:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/found-at-the-library-by-christi-snow/

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A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz

Pat Henshaw Behr Facts Tour

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Release Date: October 28, 2015
Blurb:
Big, burly CEO Abe Behr is dismayed to discover someone—possibly a family member—is stealing from Behr Construction, which primarily employs Behr relatives. Abe takes the unprecedented step of hiring an outsider, likeable CPA Jeff Mason, to go over the books and help find the culprit. They are drawn to each other as they talk to workers, including Abe’s two younger brothers and their shifty cousin.

Since he has sacrificed romance all his life to build the business, Abe’s surprised by his feelings for the handsome Jeff. He’s even more shocked when they are confronted by bigotry in the Sierra Nevada foothills community, which is being inundated by gays moving from the San Francisco area. As he and Jeff get closer, Abe must come to grips with coming out to a family and community that aren’t very tolerant. Fortunately, being the head Behr helps him find his footing and grab onto love when it bites him.

Pages or Words: 90 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

BehrFacts-Preview
Excerpt:

“You ever come up the bank to sit under my tree? Looks like a much more comfortable place to fish. Not as rocky at any rate.” Jeff took a drink of his beer as I again scrambled to keep up. “My dad called it the Fishing Tree. He seemed to think fish congregated off the shore there.”
We sat in silence. It was my turn to talk. I’m pretty good in business situations. Not so much in social ones. At social events, mostly I hold up walls. Shake hands. Grunt a lot. Let others carry the conversational load.
Lorraine set our meals in front of us. The full burger with everything for him. The grilled mountain trout and steamed vegetables for me.
“You do a lot of fishing?” I managed after a long silence.
“Not really.” He gave a self-deprecating laugh. “My dad said fishing couldn’t be taught. He said it was something intuitive. I never had any idea what I was doing. So I never saw any use in fishing. I never saw any fish either.”
Again, silence as I processed and caught up. “It’s not rocket science. You figure out what kind of fish you want. Where it lives. Lure it to you. Then catch it.”
He looked skeptical and almost self-conscious. “It can’t be so easy,” he said with a little laugh.
“Why not?”
“What about the different rods, lures, tackle, stuff?” He looked so serious, as if I were missing the point. As if I didn’t understand. He was right. I didn’t.
“Look. You can catch fish with your bare hands. If you want to. The extra stuff is just extra stuff.”
“If you say so.” He shook his head, a smile still on his lips. “Have you ever caught a fish with your bare hands?”
I lifted my hands and looked down at the mess that were my paws. Calluses, nicks, cuts, punctures, blunt fingers, the bandage now off the one with the splinter. These were the hands of a man who’d framed houses as a tall, rangy preteen and had lived in construction ever since. Could I catch a fish with my bare hands?
“Yeah. All it takes is absolute stillness and patience.” I sighed. “Not a whole lot of people have both together. Somebody once told me it’s all about Zen.” Somebody else said the only reason I could do it was because I was too stupid to know it was impossible.
“Zen.” His tone said he was surprised I knew such a word.
“You know, like the Eastern religion,” I answered. “Though why we still call it Eastern is beyond me. It’s really Far West, not Far East to us.” I was grumbling and rambling. Avoiding for some reason.
He rattled me. Nobody ever rattled me. I’m Abe Behr, the big Behr.
He was studying me as intently as I was him. He appeared too beautiful, too perfect, too unscarred. I just hoped his accountant skills were as perfect as he looked.
“What kind of fish you want to catch?” I asked. Staring at him wasted our time.
He pointed his fork to my plate. “How about that? It’s good, right?”
“Trout,” I agreed. “Lots of different kinds of trout.”
He looked like he’d never eaten any in his life.
“This is trout from our lake. Have a bite.”
He’d finished his burger but didn’t make a move on my fish. His expression was split between wanting to dig in and reluctance to do so.
“Just taste it,” I growled. “It won’t bite.”
His eyes snapped up to meet mine. His puzzled stare asked if the stupid bear had deliberately made a joke or not. Then he gave a happy, hearty laugh, and his fork raided my fish.
“So? What do you think?” I asked after he swallowed.
“I think you made a great joke,” he said with twinkling eyes. “And the trout is delicious. Is this why you threw your catch back? Did you know you’d get it cooked perfectly here at the cafe?”
“Naw. I was stalking the pie. Fish was a bonus.”
“They have good pie here?”
“Wait and see.”

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Meet the author:
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska and promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube.
Now retired, Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.
Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Fortunately, her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.

Where to find the author:

Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Twitter: https://twitter.com/phenshaw
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Henshaw/e/B00BPDEDEA/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1436131610&sr=8-1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pathenshaw/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/redesigningmax
Email: phenshaw527@gmail.com

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Pat_Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

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Categories
A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Fade to black/No Steam Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index m/m Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series

Behr Facts by Pat Henshaw (review)

BehrFacts-Preview

Blurb

Big, burly CEO Abe Behr is dismayed to discover someone—possibly a family member—is stealing from Behr Construction, which primarily employs Behr relatives. Abe takes the unprecedented step of hiring an outsider, likeable CPA Jeff Mason, to go over the books and help find the culprit. They are drawn to each other as they talk to workers, including Abe’s two younger brothers and their shifty cousin.

Since he has sacrificed romance all his life to build the business, Abe’s surprised by his feelings for the handsome Jeff. He’s even more shocked when they are confronted by bigotry in the Sierra Nevada foothills community, which is being inundated by gays moving from the San Francisco area. As he and Jeff get closer, Abe must come to grips with coming out to a family and community that aren’t very tolerant. Fortunately, being the head Behr helps him find his footing and grab onto love when it bites him.

Review

Abe Behr is the oldest of the three Behrs that run the construction company in town. Since his father’s death, Abe has been fighting his cousin and the economy to keep things in the black. Abe keeps things simple. He sticks to family ties and follows the old traditions of hard work paying off. He’s kept the company running all this time but lately there have been supplies and money missing. He’s on the verge of losing the company unless he asks for help. He enlists Jeff Mason, an accountant to help him figure things out.

Jeff has come to Abe highly recommended, even though Jeff belongs to a family the Behrs have “fought with” for decades.

Though it doesn’t always feel right, Jeff and Abe eventually figure out just where the money is going. They also manage to help one young man find his career path and come out, avoid a battle between the gays and the bigots in town and find themselves in love.

**

This is the third book in the series. If you’ve read books one and two, you know some of the players – they come back to visit. Abe considers himself asexual – but we find out that may not really be the truth. The delivery in this story is unique and from Abe’s simplistic view point. It’s another “fade to black” as far as sex goes and Abe and Jeff only get together in the very end.

On the one hand I really like Abe and Jeff as a couple. Abe is simple and plain and down to earth. It’s wonderful watching his metamorphosis and really, my only complaint is that the book ends too soon. I really wish we’d gotten to see more of Abe and Jeff as a couple.

This is really more about Abe’s self discovery and only a bit about their romance. It’s a lovely “coming of age” story in that Abe and his brother and friend really do find themselves at last.

So… as a story I’d give it a 4 of 5 as a romance a 3.5

If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the series you’ll enjoy this and if you haven’t read the others you won’t be lost. Abe’s story is cute and unique and very appealing.

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adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Fade to black/No Steam Gay Heat Index Less Than Three Press m/m Mild level angst NetGalley Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words)

The Neighbor by Bernadette Chapman

 

theneighbor400Blurb

Anders like his life the way it is: quiet, ordered, neat. If that gets him called antisocial, well, it also gets him left alone and that’s the way he likes it.

Then a new neighbor, Finch, moves in and he is everything Anders hates. He’s nosy, over-friendly, and doesn’t know when to quit. He’s also cute and infuriatingly charismatic. Which is the only possible explanation for the way Anders keeps putting up with Finch and his crazy ideas, like training for a wife-carrying contest, instead of telling him to go away once and for all the way he should.

 

Review

Anders is the misanthropic neighbor of Finch. One day Finch decides to borrow some sugar and from that day forward makes it his mission to rattle Anders out of the rut that is his life.

At first, only for a moment, Finch tries to get Anders to change, but it isn’t long before he realizes that part of Anders charm is his steadfast reluctance to do anything new or different.

Eventually, Anders realizes that Finch is more than a pest – he’s become the love of his life.

**

This is a short story and not a typical “romance”. The MCs do eventually get together but there is no on page sex. I’d categorize this as a romantic comedy more than anything else. Both Anders and Finch are funny – cariacatures of opposites attracting. Finch is the outlandish extrovert and Anders the grumpy introvert. Finch is wise enough to recognize that Anders is just what he needs to balance his life and though it takes him much longer, Anders realizes that too.

I thought this was really cute and I’d definitely look for this author in the future.

4.25 of 5 stars

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adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Christmas Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Military NetGalley Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) second chance at love

Don’t Stop Believing by Gwen Hayes

don't stopBlurb

The Ogre from the Hill

Simon Powell, the town recluse, only comes to town to deliver firewood and get supplies. Two days before Christmas, he sees the new librarian’s car in a ditch and knows he can’t leave him on the road, but it’s too late to take him back to town. He’ll have something he’s never had in his cabin in the ten years that’s he’s lived there…company.

The Book Nerd from the City

Adam Parker moved to the small community to make big changes in his life, but being snowbound with the bearded lumberjack in his rustic cabin was something he’d thought only existed in his fantasies. Simon pushes away anyone who wants to get close to him, but Adam sees what he’s hiding in his heart and he wants it. Badly.

A Christmas to Remember

Adam smells like cinnamon and redemption and Simon aches to run his fingers over the scrape of stubble on his cheeks. To pull him into a kiss. To reignite feelings he’d denied himself for too long. Life is right there, blazing in the eyes of the town librarian. A man who isn’t afraid of him. But he learned long ago that everything he touches gets tainted, and he’ll do anything to keep his darkness away from Adam’s light.

But Adam has something else on his side—he’s been a very good boy this year and all he wants for Christmas is Simon.

Review

Simon is the ogre who lives happily (?) by himself up in the woods. The town humors him but he doesn’t let them get too close.

Adam is the new town librarian. He’s seen (and drooled over) the local misanthrope/lumberman but hasn’t yet been able to break through his icy reserve. When he’s stranded on the way out of town for Christmas and rescued by the recalcitrant Simon, it’s time to turn up the heat and see what miracles Christmas can truly bring.

**

This was a super cute holiday story! Gwen Hayes gives us some deliciously witty characters and a sweet and sexy romance. Simon’s internal dialog is hilarious and Adam is terribly sweet.

I loved that we were able to get our guys from not speaking, through their first time together all the way to their HEA in this short story. It was very satisfying.

With the exception of some sentences that could’ve used some contractions, the writing is smooth and effortless. I’d never read this author before but I will definitely look for her in the future.

I highly recommend this holiday treat and give it 5 of 5 stars!

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Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Halloween Heat Index m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Unscripted by Nico Jaye (Heartsville)

unscriptedBlurb
Theater manager Teddy Carbone’s life has gone pretty much according to script… until now.

To his surprise, Teddy finds himself co-owner of the Oasis Theater with Carter Monroe, a corporate shark who’s looking at him like he’s chum in the water. Being in charge of the theater is one thing, but having to deal with Carter and his demands is another. With Carter’s proposed plan to sell the Oasis looming, Teddy must convince Carter the theater is worth saving. When he introduces the bright, bold world of the stage to Carter’s cold, all-business lifestyle, though, Teddy soon comes to recognize that the Oasis might not be the only thing he has a chance to save.

Review

Teddy inherits one half of the theatre he’s been managing for the last nine years. The other half goes to the original owner’s nephew, Carter. Teddy and Carter have never met, but in Teddy’s mind, the non-profit theatre is solidly in the black, therefore there’s no problem, right?

Well, Carter is a business man and as a business the theatre doesn’t make sense. So he sends papers telling Teddy to prepare for a sale. Teddy, in a mad dither, rushes into the city to confront Carter.

Carter, apparently besotted by the enraged Teddy, agrees to give the theatre a chance after giving Teddy some…

Carter eventually comes to the theatre itself and sees just how magical it really is and by the end we have a sure future for the theatre and a HFN for Carter and Teddy.

**

Novellas are tricky things and writing in a series with other authors can be tricky too. On the one hand, Nico Jaye is a great writer and this story flows nice and smoothly for the most part and I liked the enemies to lovers premise.

On the other hand, the other novellas in the series really emphasized a long courtship and really getting to know each MC involved– it almost felt a bit old fashioned at times. Carter and Teddy rush into a hook-up, then don’t see each other for a long time, then at the end they look like they might start their courtship. To me, it felt out of place with the rest of the series.

I also didn’t feel like I understood much of Carter or his motivations. I got a great picture of Teddy and his family – the theatre and his friends were well developed parts of his life. I wanted them to have their HEA but I can’t really say that I knew enough about Carter to say they got one. It can be hard to do a lot of character development in a novella, but I think Carter was a little under-developed.

It was still a very sweet book and I enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend this entire series!

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Contemporary Gay Halloween Heat Index Humor m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Clique by Jayden Brooks (Heartsville)

cliqueBlurb

Adam Locke’s youthful looks aren’t the blessing everyone seems to think. At twenty-eight, he’s a successful photographer with his own studio and respected by his peers—but that doesn’t seem to matter to the men who catch his eye. Instead, he’s brushed aside like an underage twink with a daddy fetish.

When a hot, bearded stranger stops him from accidentally walking into traffic, Adam looks up and finds the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, his first meeting with Brandon ends with him being dismissed as a kid. Again. Adam can’t help his annoyance. He also can’t help staring (and drooling) whenever he spots Brandon walking through the neighborhood with a different dog.

He watches from afar, wondering about Brandon’s story—until the day he’s dared to take another chance. It’s just the push Adam needs, and finally, he catches Brandon’s interest. Now if only he could figure out the key to getting taciturn Brandon to open up and let Adam in. But Adam knows sometimes all it takes is a little patience for the last piece to click into place.

Review

Adam is sick and tired of looking 18 when he’s 28. He wants a “man’s man” but he’s nobody’s “boy”. When he runs in to dog walker, Brandon, he has hopes of finally being seen for who he is and getting what he wants. When Brandon rejects him, he’s crestfallen. But his buddy Mark, from Bookmarked, convinces him to fight for what he wants … and he’s richly rewarded!

**

This is another super cute story from Heartsville. This time Adam finally gets his man, the recalcitrant Brandon. I loved how they drew out the “dating” process and didn’t just jump right into bed with one another.

The first person POV was hysterical and I loved the idea of Adam carrying over his aunt’s vision. This was a very sweet book with a lovely HEA.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Christmas Contemporary Gay Heat Index Holiday Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse lawyer m/m NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat second chance at love

Fortunate Blizzard by LC Chase

fortunate blizzardBlurb

There are worse things than being stranded in a blizzard.

Artist Trevor Morrison has always appreciated the little things in life, treating each day as a gift. And with good reason: he’s been on the transplant-recipient list for too long now. When he learns just how numbered his days truly are, he resolves not to take them for granted. But he won’t be unrealistic, either—which means romantic commitments are off the table.

Marcus Roberts seems to have it all. He’s handsome, financially sound, and on the fast track to partnership at a prestigious law firm. In reality, though, his drive for success has meant no time for friends or relationships. Add in the fact that his family discarded him long ago, and he’s facing yet another holiday season alone.

When the biggest snowstorm to hit Colorado in decades leaves Marc and Trevor stranded at the same hotel, a chance encounter and a night of passion leads to more than either of them expected. Finding comfort in each other is a welcome surprise, but time is not on their side. Either they find a way to beat the odds, or they lose each other forever.

Review

Trevor has just found out that his 7 year quest for a kidney transplant has most probably been denied for the last time – just in time for the holidays. He’s on his way back home to Connecticut when he gets stuck in a blizzard on the way to the airport. There he meets the workaholic lawyer, Marcus.

Trevor and Marcus have chemistry that is off the charts. They just click. They just seem to work. But… they can never be. Despite having so much in common and feeling so much for each other in such a short time, Trevor knows it would be cruel to get involved with Marcus and Marcus doesn’t have time for someone in his busy life does he?

I don’t want to give more of the story away… but… it ends on a very HEA.

**

This is one of those tear-jerking, lovely, holiday, mushy, soul-grabbingly sweet stories. I loved it!

I loved Trevor and Marcus as a couple. I loved Trevor’s family! I loved Marcus’ friends! I loved the way LC Chase found us a (somewhat) plausible resolution to a seemingly impossible problem.

If you are in the mood for sap, holidays, tears, and happiness – give this one a try!

5 of 5 stars

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